Book Riot’s Deals of the Day for January 19th, 2018

The Deals of the Day are sponsored today by Balls by Chris Edwards:

Today’s Featured Deals

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston for $2.99. Get it here, or just click the cover image below:


The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner for $1.99. Get it here, or just click the cover image below:



In Case You Missed Yesterday’s Most Popular Deal


Annhiliation by Jeff VanderMeer for $3.99. Get it here, or just click the cover image below:


Previous daily deals that are still active (as of this writing at least). Get ’em while they’re hot.

Infomocracy by Malka Older for $1.99.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black for $2.99.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Clare North for $2.99.

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan for $2.99.

The Best of Us by Joyce Maynard for $2.99.

In the Woods by Tana French for $2.99.

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer for $1.99.

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson for $2.99.

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam for $1.99.

Pages for Her by Sylvia Brownrigg for $3.99.

P.S. from Paris by Marc Levy.

Shrill by Lindy West for $2.99.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson for $1.99.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper for $1.99.

As You Wish by Cary Elwes for $1.99.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman for $2.99.

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley for $2.99.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman for $1.99.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes for $1.99.

The Little Book of Mindfulness by Patrizia Collard for $1.99.

Bitch Planet, Vol 1 for $3.99.

Monstress, Vol 1 by Liu & Takeda for $3.99

Paper Girls, Vol 1. by Vaughn, Chiang, & Wilson for $3.99.

The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1 for $3.99

The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin for $9.99

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith for $0.99

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for $4.99

Action Item: Bilingual Books for English Language Learners

Between the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from the White House and the recent uptick in ICE raids, the United States probably doesn’t feel like a particularly friendly place for recent immigrants.

With that in mind, this week’s classrooms in need all serve largely immigrant populations, and all of them specifically serve students who are learning English as a second—or third or fourth or fifth—language:

I Know the Arabic Word, but What About English? in Brooklyn, NY:

Imagine trying to describe how you felt the first time you saw the Statue of Liberty or trying to describe how marshmallows feel and taste. Now try explaining these things in a language you are just beginning to learn! This is a challenge my students experience each day.

Reaching Out to the Bilingual Community! in Paterson, NJ:

In our community, the bilingual students miss out on many projects and activities due to the lack of resources in Spanish. I would like to have my students exploring some of Dr. Seuss books in Spanish during our school celebration for Dr. Seuss’ Birthday. I’m requesting copies of El Lorax, El Gato Ensombrerado, and Huevos verdes con jamon. With these books my students will have the opportunity to explore Dr. Seuss in their native language!

Culturally Responsive Novels for a Culturally Diverse Classroom in Portland, OR:

My students are English language learners. They are high school students and need access to books that are at their reading levels. As students develop their English language proficiency, they need to read books and respond to books daily to build their vocabulary, automaticity, and fluency. These books will give students an opportunity to engage in small group discussions about books they are reading together, write about the books they are reading, and build a rich vocabulary that comes from the act of reading.


As always, a lot of us giving a little each ends up being…a lot? In other words, $1,000 looks like a lot of money to raise, but spread between 1,000 people, not so much!

And if you can’t donate, boosting is a huge help as well!

3 Essay Anthologies That Aren’t About Writing

I love reading essays by writers I know and love (and writers I’ve never heard of). It’s fascinating to get to spend a few pages inside a writer’s own head, rather than with their characters, or to read the prose of a writer whom I primarily know through their poetry. I also love reading about writing itself—there’s something comforting about seeing my own struggles and frustrations with the art reflected on the page, in the words of published authors. But though I love a good anthology of “Writers on Writing,” it’s the books with (hypothetical) titles like “Writers on Baseball,” “Writers on Climate Change,” or “Writers on Their Favorite Childhood Games” that really catch my eye.

Writers, after all, are whole people, with varied lives and interests. When they offer up their thoughts and opinions on everything from nature to fashion to pop music to cooking—in the form of beautiful and thought-provoking essays, I count it as a gift.

Here are three incredible essay anthologies I’ve enjoyed recently, in which a whopping total of 51 writers share their insight on three very different topics: race, rereading books, and not having kids.

Selfish Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids

Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, edited by Meghan Daum

Essays (and nonfiction books of all kinds) about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood are not hard to find. It is hard to find the opposite: books about people who have chosen not to have kids. Being childless by choice, especially for women, is still looked upon with concern, confusion, and sometimes outright hostility. In these brilliant, moving, funny, and thoughtful essays, sixteen writers delve right into that taboo. With honesty and heart, they discuss their reasons for choosing not to have children. What I love most about this collection is the wide diversity of experience these writers represent. Some of them agonized over the decision; some knew since childhood that they did not want to be parents. Some of the essays are deeply personal; others explore the cultural idea that motherhood=womanhood, and how this is damaging for everyone. As someone who has always felt ambivalent toward motherhood, the kinship and familiarity I felt reading these essays was a refreshing change. I could not put this book down.

Rereadings by Anne FadimanRereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love, edited by Anne Fadiman

I fell in love Ex Libris, Anne Faidman’s ode to books, when I first read it in high school. Rereadings, in which an array of adult writers reread books they loved as children or teens, is just as lovely. The essays vary widely—some leaning more toward literary criticism and some toward more personal narrative—but all of them capture the profundity of the impact certain books can have on our lives. Whether discussing Pride and Prejudice or the lyrics on the back of Sgt. Pepper, these essays are all delightful, insightful, and moving in their own way. This is a book about reading, but more than that, it’s a book about how we change over the course of our lives, using books as lens to track and explore those changes.

The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward

With essays from such literary giants as Claudia Rankine and Edwidge Danticat (among many others), this is a must-read anthology for everyone striving to understand America’s past and present. Conceived as a response to Baldwin’s classic 1963 The Fire Next Time, these moving and powerful essays explore race and racism through the varying perspectives and experiences of their authors. As a whole, the collection speaks both to the trauma caused by American racism and to the possibility of a more hopeful future. I found myself copying down copious passages as I was reading it; it’s one of those books that I’ve come back to again and again.

12 Books to Gift a Child on National Reading Day

January 23rd is National Reading Day, an annual event that celebrates reading and encourages young children to read. Schools, parents, literary programs, and libraries across the United States are helping Pre-K to third grade students build the foundation needed to become lifelong readers. You too can join the festivities by sharing the book that sparked your love for reading with the special child in your life. If you’re drawing a blank on a good book to share, Book Riot is here to offer a few suggestions.

Bring these books along when it’s time to visit grandma and grandpa! They pull double duty of getting kids reading while strengthening the bond between grandparent and grandchild during story time.

I Love Saturdays y Domingos Book CoverI love Saturdays y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada and Elivia Savadier (Illustrator)

The weekends are great for this little girl because she gets to experience both sides of her family’s culture. On Saturdays she eats pancakes, plays with Grandma’s owl collection, and listens to Grandpa’s stories. On los Domingos, she eats huevos rancheros and learns about Abuelita’s heritage and Abuelito’s life on a Mexican ranch.


What Do Grandmas Do Best/What Do Grandpas Do Best by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Lynn (Illustrator)

Grandmas and grandpas can do lots of things like play hide-and-seek, paint pictures, take walks, plan picnics, make hats, build sandcastles, and sing lullabies, but what they do best is give lots of love to their grandchildren.

Full Full Full of Love Book CoverFull, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke and Paul Howard (Illustrator)

For Jay Jay, Sunday dinner at Grannie’s is as full as full can be with hugs, kisses, tasty dishes, happy faces, and lots and lots of love.


Dear Juno by Soyung Pak and Susan Kathleen Hartung (Illustrator)

Juno’s grandmother writes in Korean and Juno writes in drawings, but that doesn’t mean they can’t exchange letters. From the photo his grandmother sends, Juno can tell she has a new cat. From the picture he draws, Juno’s grandmother can tell he wants her to visit.


If you have a little explorer on your hands who prefers gazing at the stars, spending time with animals, or observing nature over diving nose-deep in a book, then meet them halfway with these books that will surely entice their curious minds.

The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring Book CoverThe Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring by Lucille Clifton and Brinton Turkle (Illustrator)

Best friends King Shabazz and Tony Polito are on the hunt for “Spring around the corner.” How far are they willing to go to find Spring? Will they know when they have found it?


The Good Luck Cat by Joy Harjo and Paul Lee (Illustrator)

Good things happen to the people who pet Woogie, but as Woogie gets into mishap after mishap, everyone starts to worry that Woogie has run out of luck.

Hedgie Blasts Off! By Jan Brett

Hedgie wants more than anything to be an astronaut and travel into space. He gets his chance when the Big Sparkler starts to sputter and fade, disappointing the alien tourists.

Ada Twist Scientist Book CoverAda Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts (Illustrator)

Ada has boundless imagination and curiosity. When her house fills with a horrific smell, Ada knows it is up to her to find the source. In the name of scientific discover, she goes on a fact-finding mission and conducts experiments, and learns that questions may do not always lead to answers, but to more questions.


These books are for the children who love spending their time in a fantasy world full of magic, fiery dragons, superheroes or wherever their creative minds take them. Help them take their imaginations to the next level.

Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole

Princess Smartypants does not want to get married. She would rather live with her pets, but she must find a husband, as ordered by her parents.

Raising Dragons Book CoverRaising Dragons by Jerdine Nolen and Elise Primavera (Illustrator)

When a dragon hatches on the farm, a young girl finds a best friend. At first her parents are wary, but it’s not long before they are welcoming the baby dragon into their family. However, it turns out this dragon may not be cut out for farm life.


Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Illustrator)

While a witch and her cat fly through the sky on a broomstick, the wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow, and even her wand. Luckily, three animals find and return the missing items. As a reward, they want a ride on the broom.

Ten Rules of Being a Superhero Book CoverTen Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti

An instruction manual for aspiring superheroes that follows Captain Magma and his sidekick, Lava Boy, on their heroic adventures.




The ideas don’t stop here! Check out:

5 Children’s Books About Refugees

100 Must Read Children’s Books Set in New York City

5 of the Best Children’s Books About Disabilities

15 Children’s Books to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

10 Black Princess Books to Celebrate the Royal Engagement

6 Great Children’s Books About Blended Families

45 Short Poems to Sneak More Poetry Into Your Life

The first negative review I ever got was for a poem I published in my college lit mag. Titled “In a Booth at the Waffle House,” it was a throwback to Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro,” and it was about Waffle House chocolate pie, and I was seriously proud of it. Two lines and a title. That’s not easy to do! And while I have lots of love for long poems, there is a special place for the tight economy of short poems. Short poems get us where we’re going quickly, and because there’s no room for meandering, every word weighs a ton. And a short poem puts us in touch with poetry—a shot, a quick snack, an amuse bouche to amp up our poetic reading lives. So for your enjoyment, here’s a list of great short poems.

short poems | Book Riot

But wait! What makes a short poem short? For my purposes here, there are super short poems (fewer than 10 lines) and short-ish poems (10–15 lines). And because poetry exists beyond the page nowadays, taking on visual or spoken word or both, I have a few examples of those for you to enjoy as well. Obviously, this is not a complete list of all the great poems—let alone all the great short poems—but it’s a fine place for us to start. (And don’t worry. My Waffle House poem isn’t one of them.)

Super short poems (fewer than 10 lines)

Margaret Atwood “You Fit Into Me”

you fit into me
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye

Ezra Pound “In a Station of the Metro”

Anais Nin “Risk”

And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to blossom.

Edna St. Vincent Millay “First Fig”

Emily Dickinson “It’s All I Have to Bring Today”

Henry David Thoreau “My life has been the poem I would have writ”

My life has been the poem I would have writ
But I could not both live and utter it.

William Carlos Williams “Red Wheelbarrow”

Stephen Crane “I Stood Upon a High Place”

Maya Angelous “Awakening in New York”

Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a
rumor of war
lie stretching into dawn
unasked and unheeded.

Sylvia Plath “Metaphors”

Robert Frost “The Rose Family”

The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.

Anne Sexton “The Black Art”

Joy Harjo “Invisible Fish”

Rita Dove “Happenstance”

Lucille Clifton “My Mama moved among the days”

Short-ish poems (10-15 lines)

Danez Smith “The 17 Year-Old & the Gay Bar”

this gin-heavy heaven, blessed ground to think gay & mean we. /
bless the fake id & the bouncer who knew /
this need to be needed, to belong, to know how /
a man taste full on vodka & free of sin. i know not which god to pray to. /
i look to christ, i look to every mouth on the dance floor, i order /
a whiskey coke, name it the blood of my new savior. he is just. /
he begs me to dance, to marvel men with the /
                                                                                   dash /
of hips i brought, he deems my mouth in some stranger’s mouth necessary. /
bless that man’s mouth, the song we sway sloppy to, the beat, the bridge, the length /
of his hand on my thigh & back & i know not which country i am of. /
i want to live on his tongue, build a home of gospel & gayety /
i want to raise a city behind his teeth for all boys of choirs & closets to refuge in. /
i want my new god to look at the mecca i built him & call it damn good /
or maybe i’m just tipsy & free for the first time, willing to worship anything i can taste. /


Jeanine Gailey “Okay, Ophelia”

Natasha Tretheway “Housekeeping”

We mourn the broken things, chair legs
wrenched from their seats, chipped plates,
the threadbare clothes. We work the magic
of glue, drive the nails, mend the holes.
We save what we can, melt small pieces
of soap, gather fallen pecans, keep neck bones
for soup. Beating rugs against the house,
we watch dust, lit like stars, spreading
across the yard. Late afternoon, we draw
the blinds to cool the rooms, drive the bugs
out. My mother irons, singing, lost in reverie.
I mark the pages of a mail-order catalog,
listen for passing cars. All day we watch
for the mail, some news from a distant place.


Naomi Shihab Nye “300 Goats”

Billy Collins “Introduction to Poetry”

Jacqueline Woodson “Church”

On Sundays, the preacher gives everyone a chance
to repent their sins. Miss Edna makes me go
to church. She wears a bright hat
I wear my suit. Babies dress in lace.
Girls my age, some pretty, some not so
pretty. Old ladies and men nodding.
Miss Edna every now and then throwing her hand
in the air. Saying Yes, Lord and Preach!
I sneak a pen from my back pocket,
bend down low like I dropped something.
The chorus marches up behind the preacher
clapping and humming and getting ready to sing.
I write the word HOPE on my hand.


Mary Oliver “Sleeping in the Forest”

Karina Borowicz “September Tomatoes”

The whiskey stink of rot has settled
in the garden, and a burst of fruit flies rises
when I touch the dying tomato plants.
Still, the claws of tiny yellow blossoms
flail in the air as I pull the vines up by the roots
and toss them in the compost.
It feels cruel. Something in me isn’t ready
to let go of summer so easily. To destroy
what I’ve carefully cultivated all these months.
Those pale flowers might still have time to fruit.
My great-grandmother sang with the girls of her village
as they pulled the flax. Songs so old
and so tied to the season that the very sound
seemed to turn the weather.


William Shakespeare “Sonnet 116:  Let me not to the marriage of true minds”

Chen Chen “Self-Portrait as So Much Potential”

Dreaming of one day being as fearless as a mango.
As friendly as a tomato. Merciless to chin & shirtfront.
Realizing I hate the word “sip.”
But that’s all I do.
I drink. So slowly.
& say I’m tasting it. When I’m just bad at taking in liquid.
I’m no mango or tomato. I’m a rusty yawn in a rumored year. I’m an arctic attic.
Come able & ampersand in the slippery polar clutter.
I am not the heterosexual neat freak my mother raised me to be.
I am a gay sipper, & my mother has placed what’s left of her hope on my brothers.
She wants them to gulp up the world, spit out solid degrees, responsible grandchildren ready to gobble.
They will be better than mangoes, my brothers.
Though I have trouble imagining what that could be.
Flying mangoes, perhaps. Flying mango-tomato hybrids. Beautiful sons.


Jacqueline Woodson “on paper”

Pablo Neruda “One Hundred Love Sonnets:  XVII”

Maggie Smith “Good Bones”

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.


Francisco Aragón “Lunch Break”

Robert Frost “Dust of Snow”

Ross Gay “A Small Needful Fact”

Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.

Natasha Tretheway “Miscegenation”

Lia Purpura “Resolution”

There’s the thing I shouldn’t do
and yet, and now I have
the rest of the day to
make up for, not
undo, that can’t be done
but next time,
think more calmly,
breathe, say here’s a new
morning, morning,

(though why would that
work, it isn’t even
hidden, hear it in there,
more, more,

Lucille Clifton “blessing the boats”

Nikki Giovanni “BLK History Month”

If Black History Month is not
viable then wind does not
carry the seeds and drop them
on fertile ground
rain does not
dampen the land
and encourage the seeds
to root
sun does not
warm the earth
and kiss the seedlings
and tell them plain:
You’re As Good As Anybody Else
You’ve Got A Place Here, Too


Adrienne Rich “A Mark of Resistance”

Langston Hughes “Harlem”

Wendell Berry “The Peace of Wild Things”

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

instagram short poems

rupi kaur

when i think of the ancestors. i think of each person in the lineage who had to live and survive for me to be here today. how all of them are inside me. how that makes me powerful. and capable. and an empire of infinite inner strength. ? page 201 from #thesunandherflowers

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

Christine Jewel

soft hearts. and sugar. and the stirring into something better. 〰what a bitter earth needs more of . . . . . #womenwhowrite #writersofinstagram #poetsofinstagram #poetsociety

A post shared by christine ϟ (@_christinejewel) on

atticus poetry

Burn The Bridges! #atticus #poetry #loveherwild

A post shared by ATTICUS (@atticuspoetry) on

nayyirah waheed

poem. from salt. by nayyirah waheed. . . . . . . . #salt #nejma #literature #nayyirahwaheed

A post shared by @ nayyirah.waheed on

maybe just read the poems to me? okay.

Lee Mokobe 

T. Miller 

Hollie McNish

It’s Edgar Allan Poe’s Party and He Will Swag if He Wants To: 10 Pieces of Poe Swag

Or he’d just brood at his desk and write some other piece of dismal, brilliant fiction. It’s Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday today, and even if he wouldn’t be in the celebrating mood, we are. Poe is so deeply ingrained in the collective American psyche that he shows up without you even knowing he’s shown up (do you know how long it took me to realize that Sarah Jarosz’s song “Annabelle Lee” was his poem? Let’s not talk about it).

All you Poe lovers out there deserve some swag to honor our favorite American Gothic writer. Because Poe’s work isn’t just literature—it’s a mood, a vibe, a feeling, and it’s great for some glorious puns.

Decorate your place or yourself with a subtle (or not-so-subtle) nod to the late and great Edgar Allan Poe with these ten Poe swag pieces. Only swag, and nothing more.


Poe yourself a cup of joe in this coffee mug.

Edgar Allan Poe Coffee Mug

Set your coffee mug down on an Andy Warhol–esque coaster from this set.


Edgar Allan Poe colorful coaster set

Hang up this artsy, grim, and beautiful Poe print set.

Edgar Allan Poe print set over dictionary paper

Cozy up in this Edgar Allan Poe sweatshirt, because dang it is cold outside.

Edgar Allan Poe Black Sweatshirt

Speaking of cold, wrap up with this scarf inscribed with “The Raven.”




Edgar Allan Poe The Raven Scarf

Plan ahead and snag these Edgar Allan Poe ornaments for your tree next year. Poe ho ho. 

Edgar Allan Poe Christmas Ornaments

Contain your Edgar Allan Poe book collection within these Poe bookends.

Edgar Allan Poe Bookends

Wear your love for “The Raven” around your neck with this necktie.

Edgar Allan Poe The Raven Necktie

Or keep it subtle with this gorgeous ring, hiding a page of a Poe anthology inside.

Edgar Allan Poe Ring

Carry all of your new Poe swag in this sweet tote.

Edgar Allan Poe Tote Bag

Inbox/Outbox: January 19, 2018

I read a lot of books, and this week happened to be a good #bookmail week, along with picking up some other books, thanks to a gift card I got. This isn’t an exhaustive list (that would be a bit long), but these are the highlights. Now I just need the time to read everything…

Inbox (Books Acquired)

 Old in Art School by Nell Painter

This gorgeous ARC landed in my mailbox this week—it comes out in June—and is a memoir about starting over. It’s also about women and aging, how women and artists (and women artists) are seen and perceived by others, and who gets to define what an “artist” is, among other things. I’m super excited to read this one.

Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere by Hillary Chute

I’m working on a project about comics, so this book was acquired for “research purposes,” but I’m looking forward to reading about various themes in comics and learning more about comics culture. It’s pretty heavy, and it looks chock full of info, so this should be a good read.

Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat! Vol 1: Hooked on a Feline by Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, and Natasha Allegri

I’ve never read any Hellcat, but I’ve heard good things about it. Plus, I follow Kate Leth on Instagram and she’s hella cool.

Invisible: How Young Women with Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine by Michele Lent Hirsch

I got this ARC in the mail this week—the pub date is 2/27—and this is a subject close to my heart. Women are often simultaneously over-diagnosed, under-diagnosed, and misdiagnosed across a variety of fields, and this book looks like it will be really interesting in the fact that it combines reportage, memoir, and criticism to address a serious issue.

Outbox (what I’ve finished)

Stalking God: My Unorthodox Search for Something to Believe In by Anjali Kumar

Seal Press sent me a finished copy of this, and it sounded interesting enough. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. After Kumar’s daughter was born, she found herself on a spiritual quest to find God; this was surprising, considering she was not religious, and was highly analytical and doubting, herself. Kumar is witty, thoughtful, and makes you want to be her best friend. From a silent retreat, to dabbling with mediums, to Burning Man, witches, and transcendental meditation, Kumar’s memoir goes there, literally.

Batgirl Vol 1: The Darkest Reflection by Gail Simone, Ardian Syaf, and Vicente Cifuentes

I’ve read various Batgirl trades lately, and this one was definitely one of the darker ones. Part of the New 52, Simone is wonderful, as always, and the story is good—but after reading Larson’s Batgirl, this one was decidedly darker. It’s not a bad thing, but was a bit jarring.

In the Queue (What’s next)

The Motherhood Affidavits by Laura Jean Baker

A memoir about a woman addicted to childbearing? As a newish mom, this struck me as simultaneously understandable and horrifying. But it’s more than just that—the book also weaves in Baker’s husband’s work as a public defender and the effects of his job and Baker’s cravings on their marriage and relationships. I can’t wait to get started with this book.


13 Horror Audiobooks That Are More Terrifying Than the Written Version: List List #287

Live your best bookish life with our New Release Index. It’s a fantastically functional way to keep track of your most anticipated new releases. It’s available exclusively to Book Riot Insiders. Subscribe to Book Riot Insiders!

at Bustle, 13 Horror Audiobooks That Are Actually Way More Terrifying Than The Written Version

at My Jewish Learning, 10 Holocaust Books You Should Read

at Apartment Therapy, 10 Top Picks To Start Your Own Feminist Bookshelf

at Signature, 8 Science Books to Read in 2018

at Electric Literature, 9 Hopeful Books About Schizophrenia

at Dazed, 9 YA Novels by British PoC to Look Forward to in 2018

at Nylon, 15 Things Every American Should Read Right Now

at Read it Forward, 7 Books Depicting a Magical World

at Lee & Low Blog, 12 Children’s Books On Social Activism

at Publisher’s Weekly, 10 Most Anticipated Book-to-Film Adaptations of 2018

at The Huffington Post, 45 Children’s Books You’ll Want To Give Again And Again

at Literary Hub, 10 Iconic Brooklyn Books

58 Beautiful Love Poems to Read Right Now

Roses are red, Violets are…I guess I should leave the love poems to the experts. And there are so many experts to choose from. Since there’s been poetry, there’s been love poems. Whether it’s the love of friendship described between Gilgamesh and Enkidu or the romantic love Homer describes between Penelope and Odysseus or Paris and…himself, poets have been writing about love for a long time. Since the days of epic poetry, poets have used sonnets, free verse, villanelles, slam poetry, and even instagram poetry to describe love.

These love poems I’ve collected vary widely. Some are classic love poems. Some were just posted on social media this year.  Some rhyme. Others don’t. Most are romantic. A few are sad or angry. All of them are beautiful. All of them are about love.

“Any Lit” by Harryette Mullen

You are a ukulele beyond my microphone
You are a Yukon beyond my Micronesia
You are a union beyond my meiosis
You are a unicycle beyond my migration
You are a universe beyond my mitochondria
You are a Eucharist beyond my Miles Davis
You are a euphony beyond my myocardiogram
You are a unicorn beyond my Minotaur
You are a eureka beyond my maitai
You are a Yuletide beyond my minesweeper
You are a euphemism beyond my myna bird

“To the Girl Who Works at Starbucks” by Rudy Francisco

“Atlas” by U.A. Fanthorpe

There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it

Which checks the insurance, and doesnt forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.

“When a Boy Tells You He Loves You” by Edwin Bodney

“When You Come” by Maya Angelou

When you come to me, unbidden,
Beckoning me
To long-ago rooms,
Where memories lie.

Offering me, as to a child, an attic,
Gatherings of days too few.
Baubles of stolen kisses.
Trinkets of borrowed loves.
Trunks of secret words,


“Sonnet 29” by William Shakespeare

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

“Sonnet 116” by William Shakespeare

Sketches. Hand typed poems such as this one, or any one of your choice, available through link in bio ???

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“It is Here” by Harold Pinter

(for A)

What sound was that?

I turn away, into the shaking room.

What was that sound that came in on the dark?
What is this maze of light it leaves us in?
What is this stance we take,
To turn away and then turn back?
What did we hear?

It was the breath we took when we first met.

Listen. It is here.

“Valentine” by John Fuller

“Echo” by Carol Ann Duffy

I think I was searching for treasures or stones
in the clearest of pools
when your face…

when your face,
like the moon in a well
where I might wish…

might well wish
for the iced fire of your kiss;
only on water my lips, where your face…

where your face was reflected, lovely,
not really there when I turned
to look behind at the emptying air…

the emptying air.

“It’s all I have to bring today” by Emily Dickinson

It’s all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.

pg 179, rangoli ? because self love isn’t always pretty.

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“To the Desert” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I came to you one rainless August night.
You taught me how to live without the rain.
You are thirst and thirst is all I know.
You are sand, wind, sun, and burning sky,
The hottest blue. You blow a breeze and brand
Your breath into my mouth. You reach—then bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
You wrap your name tight around my ribs
And keep me warm. I was born for you.
Above, below, by you, by you surrounded.
I wake to you at dawn. Never break your
Knot. Reach, rise, blow, Sálvame, mi dios,
Trágame, mi tierra. Salva, traga, Break me,
I am bread. I will be the water for your thirst.

“A Glimpse” by Walt Whitman

A glimpse through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner,
Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand,
A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.

“I Wanna Be Yours” by John Cooper Clarke

“I Wanted to Make Myself like the Ravine” by Hannah Gamble

I wanted to make myself like the ravine
so that all good things
would flow into me.
Because the ravine is lowly,
it receives an abundance.
This sounds wonderful
to everyone
who suffers from lacking,
but consider, too, that a ravine
keeps nothing out:
in flows a peach
with only one bite taken out of it,
but in flows, too,
the body of a stiff mouse
half cooked by the heat of the stove
it was toughening under.
I have an easygoing way about me.
I’ve been an inviting host —
meaning to, not meaning to.
Oops — he’s approaching with his tongue
already out
and moving.
Analyze the risks
of becoming a ravine.
Compare those with the risks
of becoming a well
with a well-bolted lid.
Which I’d prefer
depends largely on which kinds
of animals were inside me
when the lid went on
and how likely they’d be
to enjoy the water,
vs. drown, freeze, or starve.
The lesson: close yourself off
at exactly the right time.
On the day that you wake up
under some yellow curtains
with a smile on your face,
lock the door.
Live out your days
untroubled like that.

come to me just as you are. • Songs With Our Eyes Closed, my first collection of poetry, is available for pre-order. The link is in my bio!

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“Queen Anne’s Lace” by William Carlos Williams

Her body is not so white as
anemone petals nor so smooth—nor
so remote a thing. It is a field
of the wild carrot taking
thefield by force; the grass
does not raise above it.
Here is no question of whiteness,
white as can be, with a purple mole
at the center of each flower.
Each flower is a hand’s span
of her whiteness. Wherever
his hand has lain there is
a tiny purple blossom under his touch
to which the fibres of her being
stem one by one, each to its end,
until the whole field is a
white desire, empty, a single stem,
a cluster, flower by flower,
a pious wish to whiteness gone over—
or nothing.

 “When Love Arrives” by Sarah Kay & Phil Kaye

“To You” by Kenneth Koch

I love you as a sheriff searches for a walnut
That will solve a murder case unsolved for years
Because the murderer left it in the snow beside a window
Through which he saw her head, connecting with
Her shoulders by a neck, and laid a red
Roof in her heart. For this we live a thousand years;
For this we love, and we live because we love, we are not
Inside a bottle, thank goodness! I love you as a
Kid searches for a goat; I am crazier than shirttails
In the wind, when you’re near, a wind that blows from
The big blue sea, so shiny so deep and so unlike us;
I think I am bicycling across an Africa of green and white fields
Always, to be near you, even in my heart
When I’m awake, which swims, and also I believe that you
Are trustworthy as the sidewalk which leads me to
The place where I again think of you, a new
Harmony of thoughts! I love you as the sunlight leads the prow
Of a ship which sails
From Hartford to Miami, and I love you
Best at dawn, when even before I am awake the sun
Receives me in the questions which you always pose.

“Polarities” by Kenneth Siessor

Sometimes she is like sherry, like the sun through a vessel of glass,
Like light through an oriel window in a room of yellow wood;
Sometimes she is the colour of lions, of sand in the fire of noon,
Sometimes as bruised with shadows as the afternoon.

Sometimes she moves like rivers, sometimes like trees;
Or tranced and fixed like South Pole silences;
Sometimes she is beauty, sometimes fury, sometimes neither,
Sometimes nothing, drained of meaning, null as water.

Sometimes, when she makes me pea-soup or plays me Schumann,
I love her one way; sometimes I love her another
More disturbing way when she opens her mouth in the dark;
Sometimes I like her with camellias, sometimes with a parsley-stalk,
Sometimes I like her swimming in a mirror on the wall;
Sometimes I don’t like her at all.

my personal pen & paper. ✍? | from my debut poetry collection, ‘the princess saves herself in this one’ – on sale now! ?

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 “When We Are Old And These Rejoicing Veins” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

When we are old and these rejoicing veins
Are frosty channels to a muted stream,
And out of all our burning their remains
No feeblest spark to fire us, even in dream,
This be our solace: that it was not said
When we were young and warm and in our prime,
Upon our couch we lay as lie the dead,
Sleeping away the unreturning time.
O sweet, O heavy-lidded, O my love,
When morning strikes her spear upon the land,
And we must rise and arm us and reprove
The insolent daylight with a steady hand,
Be not discountenanced if the knowing know
We rose from rapture but an hour ago.

“Witch Wife” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

She is neither pink nor pale,
And she never will be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine.

She has more hair than she needs;
In the sun ’tis a woe to me!
And her voice is a string of coloured beads,
Or steps leading into the sea.

She loves me all that she can,
And her ways to my ways resign;
But she was not made for any man,
And she never will be all mine.

Typewriter Series #2091 by Tyler Knott Gregson …. Go grab some holiday gifts at !

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“Rondel of Merciless Beauty” by Geoffrey Chaucer

Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
Their beauty shakes me who was once serene;
Straight through my heart the wound is quick and keen.Only your word will heal the injury
To my hurt heart, while yet the wound is clean—
Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
Their beauty shakes me who was once serene.Upon my word, I tell you faithfully
Through life and after death you are my queen;
For with my death the whole truth shall be seen.
Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
Their beauty shakes me who was once serene;
Straight through my heart the wound is quick and keen.

“To An Army Wife in Sardis” from Sappho translated by Mary Barnard

To an army wife, in Sardis:

Some say a cavalry corps,
some infantry, some, again,
will maintain that the swift oars
of our fleet are the finest
sight on dark earth; but I say
that whatever one loves, is.
This is easily proved: did
not Helen—she who had scanned
the flower of the world’s manhood—
choose as first among men one
who laid Troy’s honor in ruin?
warped to his will, forgetting
love due her own blood, her own
child, she wandered far with him.
So Anactoria, although you
being far away forget us,
the dear sound of your footstep
and light glancing in your eyes
would move me more than glitter
of Lydian horse or armored
tread of mainland infantry

“The Good Morrow” by John Donne

“A Love Song for Lucinda” by Langston Hughes 

Is a ripe plum
Growing on a purple tree.
Taste it once
And the spell of its enchantment
Will never let you be.

Is a bright star
Glowing in far Southern skies.
Look too hard
And its burning flame
Will always hurt your eyes.

Is a high mountain
Stark in a windy sky.
If you
Would never lose your breath
Do not climb too high.

“Twenty One Love Poems” by Adrienne Rich

“I Love You” by Carl Sandberg

I love you for what you are, but I love you yet more for what you are going to be.
I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals. I pray for your desires that they may be great, rather than for your satisfactions, which may be so hazardously little.
A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall. The most beautiful rose is one hardly more than a bud wherein the pangs and ecstasies of desire are working for a larger and finer growth. Not always shall you be what you are now. You are going forward toward something great. I am on the way with you and therefore I love you.

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❤️?❤️page 60

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“Sonnet XLIII”” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

“Falling Stars” by Rainer Maria Rilke

Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes—do you recall? And we
did make so many! For there were countless numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.

“Photograph” by Andrea Gibson

“Litany” by Billy Collins

“Love Poem” by Audre Lorde

Speak earth and bless me with what is richest
make sky flow honey out of my hips
rigis mountains
spread over a valley
carved out by the mouth of rain.

And I knew when I entered her I was
high wind in her forests hollow
fingers whispering sound
honey flowed
from the split cup
impaled on a lance of tongues
on the tips of her breasts on her navel
and my breath
howling into her entrances
through lungs of pain.

Greedy as herring-gulls
or a child
I swing out over the earth
over and over

“Defeated by Love” by Rumi

The sky was lit

by the splendor of the moon

So powerful
I fell to the ground

Your love
has made me sure

I am ready to forsake
this worldly life
and surrender
to the magnificence
of your Being

“Habitation” by Margaret Atwood

Marriage is not
a house, or even a tent

it is before that, and colder:

the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back, where we squat
outdoors, eating popcorn

where painfully and with wonder

at having survived
this far

we are learning to make fire

Signed copies of Moon Theory are only available via the link in the bio. Moon Theory is also available in stores nation wide.

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“Desire” by Alice Walker

My desire
is always the same; wherever Life
deposits me:
I want to stick my toe
& soon my whole body
into the water.
I want to shake out a fat broom
& sweep dried leaves
bruised blossoms
dead insects
& dust.
I want to grow
It seems impossible that desire
can sometimes transform into devotion;
but this has happened.
And that is how I’ve survived:
how the hole
I carefully tended
in the garden of my heart
grew a heart
to fill it.

“Mad Girl’s Love Song” by Sylvia Plath

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

“somewhere i have never traveled” by E.E. Cummings

“love is a place” by E.E. Cummings

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds

This was the first ever poem I posted on instagram. I captioned it “I am no longer allowing my poems to collect dust” and I was so, so terrified to post. 2 and a half years later, and this poem is still circulating. I get tagged in reposts. People thank me for sharing my work. One step has led to another and I’m pursuing poetry full time! I say this to show y’all that success is always on the other side of fear. Make the first move, and keep going. I’ve progressed a lot as a writer, and seeing my growth is one of the most fulfilling feelings ever. I’m moving in the direction I set. There’s so much power in that. #poetry #amankbatra

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“Your Feet” by Pablo Neruda

When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.
Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.
I know that they support you,
and that your sweet weight
rises upon them.
Your waist and your breasts,
the doubled purple
of your nipples,
the sockets of your eyes
that have just flown away,
your wide fruit mouth,
your red tresses,
my little tower.
But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.

“The World as Meditation” by Wallace Stevens

Edit of an older poem. Bluebird Typewriter Poetry #7 #poetry #seanbates #typewriter #writersofinstagram

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“Married Love” by Kuan Tao-sheng, translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung

You and I
Have so much love,
That it
Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them,
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you,
And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
You are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt.
In death we will share one bed.

“How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali

“Love Is a Fire that Burns Unseen” by Luís Vaz de Camões, translated by Richard Zenith

Love is a fire that burns unseen,
a wound that aches yet isn’t felt,
an always discontent contentment,
a pain that rages without hurting,

a longing for nothing but to long,
a loneliness in the midst of people,
a never feeling pleased when pleased,
a passion that gains when lost in thought.

It’s being enslaved of your own free will;
it’s counting your defeat a victory;
it’s staying loyal to your killer.

But if it’s so self-contradictory,
how can Love, when Love chooses,
bring human hearts into sympathy?

“Never Give All the Heart” by W.B. Yeats

Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.

“How to Love Your Introvert” by Kevin Yang

“Seduction” by Nikki Giovanni

“Camomile Tea” by Katherine Mansfield

Outside the sky is light with stars;
There’s a hollow roaring from the sea.
And, alas! for the little almond flowers,
The wind is shaking the almond tree.

How little I thought, a year ago,
In the horrible cottage upon the Lee
That he and I should be sitting so
And sipping a cup of camomile tea.

Light as feathers the witches fly,
The horn of the moon is plain to see;
By a firefly under a jonquil flower
A goblin toasts a bumble-bee.

We might be fifty, we might be five,
So snug, so compact, so wise are we!
Under the kitchen-table leg
My knee is pressing against his knee.

Our shutters are shut, the fire is low,
The tap is dripping peacefully;
The saucepan shadows on the wall
Are black and round and plain to see.

“Will You Still Love Me?” by Arielle Wilburn

What’s your favorite love poems? I’m basically addicted to them now, so let me know what I missed in the comments.

Book Style: THE IDIOT By Elif Batuman

The Idiot by Elid Batuman Book Style

Click image to see outfit details and purchasing information.

Elif Batuman’s The Idiot was chosen for more than one “Best Cover of 2017” list and for good reason, too. The simplicity of the design harks back to mid-1990s minimalism, which is fitting since the novel is set smack in the heart of that decade: 1995. I also think the dusky, baby pink color choice is perfect for conveying the angsty, uncertain first love of the semi-autobiographical protagonist, Selin. Batuman does a fantastic job of conveying that weird sensation of discovering yourself during the transition to adulthood in college. I actually think Selin comes through the process less scathed than I did, personally.

For this Book Style, I wanted a modern ’90s minimalism look. I started with a vintage Moschino dress printed with mathematical charts and diagrams since Selin’s love interest, Ivan, is a math major. The delightfully collegiate pink cardigan is from Freshman, fitting as the story centers around Selin’s freshman year and the summer after. The shoes, “Svetlana” flats, are a nod to Selin’s roommate. For accessories I chose a pair of rose-colored glasses (literally) inscribed with “L’AVEUGLE PAR AMOUR” which translates to “blind for love.” I also sought inspiration from the it bag of 1995, and something Selin could’ve splurged on in Paris: the Lady Dior. For the outfit, I went with a gray wallet-on-a-chain version. The jewelry consists of Russian doll necklace for the Russian class where Selin and Ivan met, a pair of ruby studs from Selin Kent, a Harvard bangle since it is the setting of most of the book, and a writerly watch from Kate Spade. Playing on the writerly theme, which is Selin’s destiny, I also included a notebook for her to carry on her travels and to class. Finally, the makeup consists of “Turkish Delight” lipgloss for Selin’s Turkish parentage, and “Baby Love” nail lacquer.